A group headed by Minnesota Vikings executives today revealed computer-generated images of how their new stadium could potentially look for MLS matches, provided their city was to be awarded with a fresh MLS franchise. The state of the art (American) football stadium is on pace to open in July of 2016, and from the pictures presented, looks like a very impressive venue.
While an NFL team sharing a stadium with an MLS team is surely nothing new, the Vikings’ group is proposing a somewhat unique feature for seating inside of the stadium. Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley is suggesting the use of curtains when switching from NFL games to soccer matches inside of the stadium.
Bagley stated, “It’s different from Seattle. It’s a curtaining system that comes down and blocks the upper bowl. And the area underneath the scoreboard is, ideally, the supporters’ section. The second tier is tarped over. If you take that off, it can go to 28,000 seats. Then we can also go to 34,000 seats — or 65,000 full.”
Bagley also added that this stadium would also be different from Seattle or Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts because it will be a “soccer-specific stadium”, not a football stadium that happens to house MLS matches.
The Vice President of the Vikings went on to finish, “It has to be a soccer-specific stadium. And this is different than Gillette Stadium. God bless the Patriots, and their team, the Revolution. They’re playing in the MLS Cup, but that’s a football stadium. This is a soccer-specific stadium, designed from day one, funded for soccer and for MLS. So that’s our message to MLS.”
With an understanding that the MLS wants more of a Midwest presence, and Minneapolis being the 13th largest television market in the country, fans of soccer in Minnesota could very well get their wish of an MLS team in the near future (and with a beautiful stadium to boot).
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